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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

Pocan Statement on LGBT Pride Month

May 31, 2013
Press Release

MADISON, WI—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, today released the following statement on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, which is celebrated in June each year, the same month as the Stonewall riots of 1969.

“Every June, our country marks Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, when we celebrate and affirm the rights of LGBT Americans and commemorate the hard-fought battles on our path to full equality. As we reflect on the journey we’ve traveled—the struggles, the sacrifices, the stories of love and loss that have defined a decades-long crusade for justice—we recognize the tremendous progress that we’ve achieved, and look ahead to the obstacles that remain on our path toward full equality.

“There is still much work to be done. As a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I will continue to fight to ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, are treated with basic dignity and respect.

“Just this past month, my husband Phil and I were proud and excited when he received a Congressional spousal ID—the first LGBT partner to receive such a designation. Yet my husband, and spouses of LGBT federal employees across the country, are still not entitled to the same federal benefits as the spouses of straight employees. I am working to guarantee domestic partners all the federal rights and benefits of married same-sex couples—no matter the result of this month’s Supreme Court cases. We must also pass important pieces of legislation that protect our students and our workers, such as the Student Non-Discrimination Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. We must ensure that service members dishonorably discharged under the military’s now-repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy can have their records cleared.  And we must fight to eliminate discrimination in favor of acceptance—to replace hate-filled attacks on our streets and in our schools with love and respect.

“Today, we have a country that is ready to embrace change and a new generation that demands it. So this month, let us take pride in who we are and who we love, and recommit to making our country a place that is built, as our Constitution mandates, on the fundamental tenets of justice and equality.”

Pocan has been married to his husband Phil since 2006.